Stakeholders Applaud National Disabilities Policy

Organisations working with Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) have welcomed the national disabilities policy launched this week describing it as a positive development in uplifting livelihoods of persons with disability.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Wednesday launched the national disabilities policy as part of measures to ensure inclusivity.

In an interview with 263Chat, Signs of Hope Trust an advocacy for People with Disabilities, founder Samantha Sibanda said the policy was a welcome development.

“The policy is a welcome development, after going through it you would see that Zimbabwe is moving away from what we call the charity model where we see people with disabilities just being a charity case. The policy is coming with the aspect of empowering people with disabilities. It talks about self-reliance as one of the important things that the Government needs to see being done for people with disabilities

“So we are looking forward to the empowerment of people with disabilities but the policy is not enough, as a sector we are pushing for the disability Act so that these issues can be legally binding. There can be consequences for not following the said issues. For now we applaud the policy,” said Sibanda

Deaf Women Included (DWI) programmes manager Onai Hara said the policy comprehensively covers and respects disabilities rights.

“We are excited with the launch as it is a step forward as a country, if you see the structure of the disability policy it really aligns with the convention on the rights of people with disabilities. It actually captures the different issues that have to do with disabilities, issues such as accessibility and accommodation so it really covers such issues comprehensively disability rights and it ensures that people with disabilities are represented and their rights are respected, promoted and fulfilled,” Hara said.

Norton legislator Temba Mliswa posting on twitter hailed the launch but expressed reservations over its implementation.

“Whilst the launch of the Disability Policy is hailed, it’s implementation of the policy that will be key. For too long the disabled continue to be promised things and nothing materializes, they are not compensated and time is lost.” said Mliswa.


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